Have Burnley Checked Out All Their Leeds?
The pre-season campaign continues on Saturday with a friendly against League One, Leeds United at Turf Moor (3pm Kick-Off)
This is the only friendly of our hectic schedule to be played on home soil and for many Clarets fans it will be their first chance of probably seeing our five new signings in action.
New boys,Tyrone Mears, Steven Fletcher, David Edgar, Richard Eckersley and Brian Easton will no doubt make an appearance at some point in the game and hopefully all of the squad have now fully recovered from the rigours of their recent US Tour.
The jetlag was certaining evident in our last friendly played against Accrington Stanley at the Crown Ground just 36 hours after the players got off a transatlantic flight from the West Coast of America.
We nearly suffered an embarrassing 2-0 defeat at the hands of our local League Two rivals but somehow found the resolve in the last seven minutes of the match to score two goals and earn a 2-2 draw despite the tired, lacklustre performance.
Owen Coyle made it quite clear he would be looking for significant improvement in the Wars of the Roses clash against Leeds.
Leeds are likely to be our toughest challenge yet and although now two Leagues below the Clarets, they have had an impressive pre-season against some of the higher league clubs. They dominated the match against Blackburn and would have won but for conceding a last minute penalty to give Rovers a draw. They also impressed against Newcastle in a 0-0 draw at St James Park.
So far to date the Clarets have only played League Two sides in England so Leeds will be a tougher challenge and the game should attract a large crowd.
As far as we are aware Owen Coyle will have a fully fit squad to choose from. Martin Paterson who has missed the two friendlies in the US and the Accy game is set to return after recovering from a tight hamstring. It will be interesting to see if Michael Duff plays though, he was substituted in the second half of the Portland Timbers game in Oregon after picking up an ankle injury and did not feature against Accrington Stanley.
There are some reports that he has been seen hobbling around Burnley on crutches with a bandaged foot but we still await to hear any official news.
Coyle used only six substitutes against Accrington Stanley. Caldwell, Kalvenes, Alexander and Elliott were the ones to miss out completely with Duff and Paterson the other two.
It will be interesting to see what tactics Owen Coyle has in mind for the Leeds match and whether he is now forming an idea of a likely starting eleven for our first match in the Premier League against Stoke City at the Britannia on Saturday August 15th.
I suspect we could see Paterson make a start though along with the others to miss out at the Crown Ground.
The match on Saturday will be our final friendly in England after which we will embark on the Scottish tour to play Kilmarnock and St Johnstone thus completing our pre-season schedule.